Submit or Track your Manuscript LOG-IN

Slope Gradient Effect on Microhabitat and Small Rodents in a Tree Thinned Japanese Larch Plantation

Slope Gradient Effect on Microhabitat and Small Rodents in a Tree Thinned Japanese Larch Plantation

Jae-Kang Lee, Hyun-Su Hwang, Tae-Kyung Eom, Dong-Ho Lee and Shin-Jae Rhim*

School of Bioresource and Bioscience, Chung-Ang University, Ansung 17546, South Korea

 
* Corresponding author: sjrhim@cau.ac.kr

ABSTRACT

Slope gradient affects the development of vegetation. Because vegetation serves as food and shelter for wildlife, information about the effect of slope gradient on vegetation is important for managing wildlife and their habitats. We examined the effects of slope gradient on small rodent populations and their microhabitat conditions from May to November 2015 in a tree-thinned Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) plantation in South Korea. Study animals were captured using Sherman live traps. We surveyed slope gradient and microhabitat conditions at multiple trapping points. We focused on two rodent species for statistical analysis, the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) and the Korean field mouse (A. peninsulae). A. agrarius preferred microhabitat with dense ground vegetation, whereas A. peninsulae preferred understory vegetation. Ground vegetation was reduced as slope gradient increased, but understory vegetation was not affected by slope gradient. The results highlight that the A. agrarius population was influenced indirectly by the negative effect of slope gradient on ground vegetation because ground vegetation serves as food and shelter for A. agrarius. Thus, slope gradient had a negative effect on A. agrarius, but not on A. peninsulae. This study suggests that habitat management, especially in tree-thinned habitats where ground vegetation develops explosively, should be accomplished by considering slope gradient for both creating suitable microhabitats for small rodents and encouraging biodiversity.

 

To share on other social networks, click on any share button. What are these?

Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 54, Iss. 5, Pages 2003-2500

Featuring

Click here for more

Subscribe Today

Receive free updates on new articles, opportunities and benefits


Subscribe Unsubscribe